Following the recent announcement that Electronic Arts will be doing away with their Online Pass program, a staple for many of the company’s biggest and most recent releases over the past few years (Mass Effect 3, Dead Space 3, and others), it seems EA has more in store for the future. Leading up to the releases of the Xbox One and PS4 later this year, EA has plans in place for a long-term business strategy to coincide along the beginning stages of the new next-gen consoles.
With plans to release new IPs and franchises on Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming consoles, EA Executive Frank Gibeau spoke during EA’s earnings call last night, featuring reports on their Q1 finances and sales reports. Speaking directly about their plans for the release of the new consoles later this year, Gibeau commented that EA is more than prepared for the road ahead. Their new business models will “come out as we release new IPs and new titles over the first 24 months of the Gen4 platforms.”
In particular, EA has found wild success with “Premium” editions of their titles, most notably their Battlefield 3: Premium Edition and FIFA Ultimate Team, providing players with enhanced or exclusive content for a set monthly/yearly fee, resulting in a “$200 million digital opportunity” for the company over the last year. Gibeau also commented on this strategy and mentioned:
“Going forward, those alternative business models…will continue expanding, continue to grow as the online capabilities of the Gen4 machines really manifest themselves and become real. We’ll seek to expand those opportunities across additional franchises.”
With the death of Online Passes and the success of the Premium Edition, EA seems to only be getting started with their business models for the next-generation of consoles, with a hefty release calendar alongside these plans. At their E3 presentation last month, EA revealed a number of returning franchises on the next-gen consoles, such as the long-rumored Mirror’s Edge 2, Battlefield 4, a new Star Wars: Battlefront, and announced their new Xbox One-exclusive mech-multiplayer game, Titanfall.